Weekend Greetings from the Riviersonderend Mountains

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Weekend Greetings from the snowy Riviersonderend Mountains

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Snow in the Riviersonderend Mountains

… and the land is green (thanks to good water management of Overberg farmers and municipalities alike … and a bit of rain of course)

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Smoke

Winter in South Africa. It’s cold and in the countryside many on the farms make a fire to keep warm while working on the land. Seemingly unaware of the effect: smoke stretching for about 15 kilometers between mountains and river/lagoon before disappearing above the ocean.

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A devastating fire

The last few weeks Cape Town was on fire and to be honest it was an overkill of news from the fire front with lots of repeats, nonsense and so on. It became global news but yes it was in Cape Town and it was only 5500 hectare. A few years ago there was also a fire; here near Stanford: 25,000 hectare. It got a five-liner in a Capetonian newspaper but than for Capetonians this area is somewhere ‘abroad’. The fire in the Klein Rivier Mountains was far more ‘devastating’ for people and animals alike. Except for the baboons (here only 14 troops) far more diversity in animal- and plant-life than in the Cape Peninsula.

Well here follows what we blogged at the time:

For the third time within one year we experienced a mountain fire. This is a fynbos area and there seems to be a fynbos specie which roots start to burn spontaneously .  Fynbos needs a fire every 10 years or so otherwise seeds won’t germinate. It’s a pure natural process but for human beings in a contemporary world very inconvenient. No electricity for 24 hours and no internet for 36 hrs; the latter due to the fact that Telkom forgot to turn a switch into adsl-mode… It’s Sunday you know and it’s Festive Season here in South Africa…. But the guys of the fire-brigade (virtually all volunteers) did a tremendous job and we all admire them greatly!!!

The picture shows the fire on Friday night and was taken about 10 kilometers from the nearest point of the fire with a 300mm lens. In total 25-thousand hectares went in smoke including 8 holiday homes and 3 boats. No people injured. Fires like this spread rapidly especially during drought periods and a bit of wind. The fire started Thursday at the other side of the mountain and Friday afternoon local politicians said to a journalist of a local newspaper that the fire was under control and just after that hell broke loose…… There are still journalists, so it seems, who believe in politicians….

 

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Anyone in for some refreshing rock climbing?

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A devastating fire

For the third time within one year we experienced a mountain fire. This is a fynbos area and there seems to be a fynbos specie which roots start to burn spontaneously .  Fynbos needs a fire every 10 years or so otherwise seeds won’t germinate. It’s a pure natural process but for human beings in a contemporary world very inconvenient. No electricity for 24 hours and no internet for 36 hrs; the latter due to the fact that Telkom forgot to turn a switch into adsl-mode… It’s Sunday you know and it’s Festive Season here in South Africa…. But the guys of the fire-brigade (virtually all volunteers) did a tremendous job and we admire them greatly!!!

The picture shows the fire on Friday night and was taken about 10 kilometers from the nearest point of the fire with a 300mm lens. In total 20-thousand hectares (50,000 acres) went in smoke including 8 holiday homes and 3 boats. No people injured but the baboon population in the area has declined. Fires like this spread rapidly especially during drought periods and a bit of wind. The fire started Thursday at the other side of the mountain and Friday afternoon local politicians said to a journalist of a local newspaper that the fire was under control and just after that hell broke loose…… There are still journalists, so it seems, who believe in politicians….

P.S.: A week after the fire we pictured these depressing ‘black and bleak’  landscapes.

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